December 14, 2003

Pak Represents An Attractive Destination For Investment

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Dec 04 (PNS) - His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan has stated that Pakistan represents an attractive destination for investment and Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development intends to expand its operations in financial services, telecommunications and tourism business.

This was stated by the distinguish guest during his meeting with Finance Minister, Shaukat Aziz here on Wednesday. He stated that Pakistan has tremendous potential as a Tourist destination particularly in the Northern Areas as well as along the coast line around Gawadar and these should be developed to attract tourists from all over the world.

His Highness appreciated the improvements in Pakistan's macro economic situation and the consistency and continuity of economic policy which gives confidence to current and future investors. The Aga Khan also appreciated the Government efforts to Increase investment in the health and education sectors as well as policy to alleviate poverty.

Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz informed His highness Prince Karim Aga Khan that the Government is increasing expenditure on poverty Alleviation programmes increasing development budget and creating an enabling Investment environment in the private sector so as to create jobs and improve standard of living of the people.

He also advised the Aga Khan that Pakistan's per capita income during the financial year 2002-2003 increased to $ 492 from $419 a year earlier.

On a purchasing power parity basis, Pakistan's per capita income for the year 2002 was $ 1940 indicating gradual increasing trend. The Finance Minister said that Government priority to build on gains in macro economic situation, increase economic growth and thus create increased opportunity for the people.

He stated that economic growth has increased, growth in level of poverty has been arrested and "we expect a gradual reductio in the years to come due to increased agricultural income, higher economic growth, higher government developmental spending and private investment.

The Finance Minister appreciated the investment made in Pakistan by Aga Khan Fund for Development, and their interest in financial services,telecommunications, tourism and privatization opportunities. The Aga Khan's involvement in health, education, heritage preservation and social services was very commendable, he added.